One of my music major friends was talking about Carnival of the Animals not that long ago, and that led me to wondering when I'd last heard the complete work. It wasn't hard to find the whole thing on YouTube, and then I just set the playlist on repeat while working on some French flashcards. It worked pretty well for me to be completely honest.
There was just one small problem. When you listen to a multi-movement work such as Carnival of the Animals, you have to eventually choose a favorite movement, because that's just how we work around here. If you're talking about The Planets Suite, you have to figure out which planet is your favorite (Mars or Saturn for me...definitely), and if you are indeed talking about Carnival of the Animals you have to choose a favorite animal.
Now for those of you that aren't familiar with Carnival of the Animals, this is a multi-movement work by Saint-Saens based around various animals. So you have the lions and the Tortoises and the Swans and so on and so forth. And the best part? It actually connects to Disney in more ways than one!
If you heard certain portions of Carnival of the Animals, you would definitely recognize at least one of them from Fantasia 2000, which you can watch right here:
And as if that's not enough of a Disney reference, the song is also used in the soundtrack that accompanies the film in the France Pavilion at Epcot. Yes, it's there too! Actually, a solid amount of Saint-Saens music is used in that film, and that generally ends up being the reason I listen to his music more often that other composers. Just goes to show you the power of Disney and the music they use!
Oh, and for the record, my favorite movement is probably a tie between Aquarium and Swans.
Also, happy birthday to the one and only Colin O'Donoghue!!!
Have a magical day!
(Note: This blog post was written on January 28 due to a busy schedule).